Top 10 Whitesnake Songs
Before Whitesnake became platinum-selling, MTV-ruling glam rockers seemingly overnight in the late-'80s, the band led by legendary singer David Coverdale had already enjoyed a long and highly respected career overseas, if not so much America. In fact, it was that first career phase that properly established Whitesnake’s classic rock credentials, so with all due apologies to fans who believed Tawny Kitaen was a member of the band, we’ll be focusing on that period in the following list of the Top 10 Whitesnake Songs.
David Coverdale was a virtual unknown when he joined Deep Purple’s MK. III lineup in 1973. But after making a name for himself as co-lead-vocalist alongside bassist Glenn Hughes, Coverdale went back to his blues and R&B roots when he started Whitesnake in 1978. ‘Ready an’ Willing’ was the group’s third LP and its title track epitomized the original band’s groove-laden, unembellished style.
Whitesnake’s career prospects kept improving with their next album, ‘Come an‘ Get It,’ which made it to No. 2 in the U.K. charts and spawned a pair of strong singles in ‘Don’t Break My Heart’ and ‘Would I Lie to You.’ But neither of these has had as much staying power, we feel, as our next choice for the Top 10 Whitesnake Songs: ‘Child of Babylon,‘ featuring Coverdale’s own interpretation of the classic blues tale of the prodigal son.
If any song describes the mission statement that guided Whitesnake’s early exploits, then ‘Walking in the Shadow of the Blues’ would be it. First recorded in 1979, the song’s massive groove was even better suited to the concert stage, and thus we point you to its definitive version (or one of them, anyway) as heard on 1980’s double live LP, ‘Live in the Heart of the City.’
If ripping off other artists was a sin, Hell will be packed with guilty parties before too long - including Jimmy Page and company, who notoriously pilfered much of what became Led Zeppelin from those who inspired them. We point this out because ‘Still of the Night’ obviously saw Whitesnake indulging in some serious Zep-mongering to achieve their stadium-conquering goals. The violin bow really was a "Led too far," if you ask us, but it is what it is.
Try finding an album cover like this one in a record store today. Heck, try finding a record store first and then tell us where it is...but we’re getting off point. This being that the title track from 1979’s none-too-subtle ‘Lovehunter’ LP contains one of the coolest slide guitar workouts as applied to the hard rock idiom, courtesy of Mr. Micky Moody. Yes, he’s the guitarist sporting a big mustache and hat to hide his bald spot, who was later replaced by John Sykes for MTV’s benefit.
That oft-debated transformation within the ranks of Whitesnake took place following the release of the band’s sixth studio LP, ‘Slide it In,’ which was subsequently remixed with added Sykes guitar fireworks prior to release in the U.S.. Among the songs affected by this dual existence was the magnificent ‘Slow an’ Easy,‘ which made brilliant use of the tension and release commonly found in the blues, capped by a command vocal performance spanning the length and breadth of Coverdale’s amazing vocal range.
- 4Here’s another Whitesnake favorite that enjoyed two “lives” via separate recordings committed several years apart. ‘Crying in the Rain’ may have been transformed into yet another masturbatory cock-rock exercise in 1987, but as heard on ‘82‘s underrated ‘Saints & Sinners’ LP, it may just be Whitesnake’s all-time-greatest heavy blues number. Notice how the blues keep coming up in our list of Top 10 Whitesnake Songs? It’s really the core of the band's sound.
All of youse calling for ‘Is This Love?’ to fill this slot can go take a hike to a Britney Fox or Trixter concert! Not only is ‘Slide it In’s’ ‘Love Ain’t No Stranger’ Whitesnake’s most perfectly-wrought power ballad, bar none, it’s one of the '80s' best, too. ‘Stranger’ may not have benefited from the gratuitous pornography that effectively ensured mind-numbing MTV rotation for ‘Is This Love?,’ but it actually delivers a message of some substance amid all that sublime melodicism. Please post your hate mail below...
- 2Once again, we run the risk of irking the majority in the spirit of historical authenticity, as we select the original, understated, 1980 version of Whitesnake’s massive hit, ‘Fool for Your Loving,’ over the typically bombastic, synthesizer-drenched rendition committed to tape almost ten years later. Yes, Steve Vai’s always impressive fretboard destruction brought some appreciated energy to the newer option, but you’d do well to check out the more pure initial version.
- 1As for the final choice in our list of the Top 10 Whitesnake Songs, we’ll concede that the re-recorded version of ‘Here I Go Again’ is the one responsible for making the song a worldwide hit, and therefore most suited to sit at No. 1. Be that as it may, we’ll still include links to both options below for you to sample, bah-humbug! Though these were separated by just five years in the long span of Whitesnake’s career, their performances certainly sound worlds apart, with the only constant being David Coverdale’s remarkable talents, so give it up for the man, the voice, the force behind the iconic hard rock band that is Whitesnake.